Statement of Harold P. Wimmer, National President and CEO of the American Lung Association, in response to the announcement that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will add expand its "The Real Cost" Smoking Prevention Media Campaign to include e-cigarettes:
"The American Lung Association commends the FDA for adding e-cigarette counter-marketing to its highly successful 'The Real Cost' smoking prevention campaign. E-cigarettes are the most commonly used tobacco product among youth. Studies have shown that e-cigarettes have become a gateway to smoking, and by including e-cigarettes in 'The Real Cost' Campaign, the FDA is taking a step to save our nation's youth from starting a lifetime addition to nicotine, and the death and disease caused by tobacco use.
"Not only has 'The Real Cost' Campaign already prevented approximately 350,000 of our nation's young people from starting to smoke, but it's been incredibly cost-effective—with $128 in healthcare costs saved for every $1 spent on the campaign. Tobacco remains the leading cause of preventable death in the United States, and for every person who dies from smoking, there are 30 people living with a serious smoking-related disease, costing the United States over $175 billion a year in healthcare spending.
"The Lung Association has been strongly urging the FDA to use its regulatory authority to take meaningful action to protect our youth from e-cigarettes and other tobacco products. We commend FDA for incorporating e-cigarette use prevention into its well-researched and evidence-based counter-marketing campaign.
"Mass media counter-marketing campaigns are an important part of reducing tobacco use and have been proven to prevent youth from starting to use tobacco and in prompting smokers to quit. The Lung Association enthusiastically supports 'The Real Cost' campaign. For the last three years, the FDA has earned high marks for its 'The Real Cost' Campaign in our annual 'State of Tobacco Control' report."
For media interested in speaking with an expert about tobacco use contact Allison MacMunn at the American Lung Association at [email protected] or 312-801-7628.
About the American Lung Association
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease through education, advocacy and research. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to champion clean air for all; to improve the quality of life for those with lung disease and their families; and to create a tobacco-free future. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the coveted 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Gold-Level GuideStar Member, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.